Ethical Issues In A Medical Setting

Ethical Issues In A Medical Setting

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Ethical Issues In A Medical Setting

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Ethical Issues In A Medical Setting

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Identify the ethical issues that are raised by the events described in the chosen case study.

The medical profession in every country all over the world is governed by a set of rules and regulations that govern conduct within the field. These set of morals and conduct are what constitute medical ethics. The Hippocratic Oath provides scope of good conduct and self-governing rules that all practitioners in the medical field should abide to and observe. It contains a number of pledges that medical professionals should keep so as to preserve human dignity and respect for all patients and citizens. According to Jack, et al (2016), medical ethics therefore involves a code of conduct that doctors, nurses and other stake holders within a medical setting ought to observe. The aim of this discussion is to identify a number of ethical issues raised by the case study and analyzing them in relation to human dignity, human rights and professional code of ethics.
The case study shows that a number of rights of Amos were violated. It displays a high level of biasness within the medical profession of the nurse and doctor on duty. This is because they decided to treat only the students that reside within the school. As stated by Nelson, (2014), it is ethically the responsibility of all medical practitioners to save all lives without consideration of gender, race, background or any other differences, the triage nurse and doctor on duty acted irrationally by favoring specific students leading to the unfavorable outcome of Amos’ death. They acted with negligence for not valuing the life of a person which is against the Hippocratic Oath. In the medical practice, the life of any given person should be valued with much keen and concern.
Equality is a key pillar in any medical profession. However in this particular case, the nurse and doctor in charge did not show equality as pledged in the Hippocratic Oath. The boarding students were favored compared to those not residing within school like Amos. This depicts a breach in their conduct of considering all lives of patients equal without placing much attention to some and neglecting others. They also did not listen to his complaints regarding the matter that he has the right to receive treatment as he is still a student at the institution leading to further negligence. Care in any medical setting should be availed to all in need and the patient has the right of being listened to no matter their condition and ethnicity (Ozgonul, et al (2017)). However in this case Amos was ignored and not listened to but was denied access to health care.
All citizens in every country have the right to access health care in a manner which is affordable, accessible and acceptable. In this case study, it is observed that there was infringement of the patient’s right to access care. Amos had the right to access medical care in the hospital which was denied by the medical officers on duty. His freedom of expression was also cut short since the nurse and doctor refused to listen to his complains which is against the law. Medical ethics require that the care providers have a good patient-physician relationship which is not the case as seen in this study (Carrese et al (2015)). There is no good communication between the physicians and the patient Amos. Despite his determination to receive treatment by explaining his rights as a student there, he is turned down and denied medication. This shows hostility in the care providers who should be friendly and communicate well with their patients. A good rapport should be created by the physician as described by Stirrat, (2015), which is not the case in Amos’ situation hence a beach of medical ethics.
Patients have rights that ought to be observed by all physicians in ethical practice. For example, they have the right to receive responsive care and information regarding their health from the physician. This was not the case for Amos as in addition to rejecting to offer care and treatment to him, they did not provide information on how he would receive help to recover from his condition. All patients have the right to access correct information from their physicians and failure to do so is disrespect to the patient. Since patients do not have equipped medical knowledge concerning health, they require to acquire some knowledge, guidance and facts on self-management and care (Gibson, et al (2017)). Amos was denied access to such knowledge in addition to being turned down. The patient also has a right to a second opinion. This was denied to Amos as he was rejected without even being listened to.
It is the duty of physicians to offer concern and follow up to their patients in order to see that their health is restored (Ruger, (2015)). Amos did not receive follow up after his case was dismissed on argument that he was not boarding in school. This is against medical ethics as the physicians should have offered an alternative for him to receive care and treatment. As explained by Herring (2015), in the medical profession, the lives of patients comes first and their health has always remained to be a first priority in an effort to conserve human respect and dignity. This case study shows that the physician lacked concern for human life as they refused to make an effort of referring and transferring the patient to another hospital or obtaining more medical supplies for the treatment of the patient Amos whose life was at stake. They did not have the desire to preserve life which is paramount to any physician.
According to Blais et al (2015), it is against professional conduct in the medical field to have motives of making profits when it comes to service delivery. Every physician and nurse has the mandate to offer genuine care to their patients without the desire to gain any favor in return. Amos in this case study had the right to receive care being part of the school and a student like the rest. It is arguable that if any case there was a medical fee that students should have paid, he was part of it and therefore required to receive equal care without the judgement of residential place. Any insurance covers provided to the students should have included Amos being a student also and even if he wasn’t covered, this would not have been correct argument in the field for not offering treatment to him.
The Belmont report provided principles of bioethics which ought to be observed and include respect for all persons, where the consent of the patient should be respected and confidentiality as well. The second principle was beneficence which involves maximizing on the well-being of the patient and minimizing any harm. In the Hippocratic Oath of medical profession it is a paramount quality of any practicing nurse or doctor that they need to act in the good of the patient (Conly, S. (2014)). This is opposed to maleficence where harm is directed to the patient. In the case of Amos, the nurse and the doctor in charge did not observe beneficence as the patient ended up dying yet they were in a situation where they would have saved his life. The third principle is distributive justice where risks and benefits should be equally distributed among patients to avoid favoring some more than the others. The case of Amos is a clear example where distributive justice has been breached. This is because other students who were sick were treated and offered care leaving him out on the basis that he is not a boarder.
Medical ethics in practice put the patient at the center of the medical universe around which all medical care should revolve. As stated by Tong (2018), the code of conduct stipulates that the doctor or care giver is meant to exist for the patient and not the other way round. Amos’ case of being denied access to care is therefore malicious and depicts shortcomings in the profession where care for the patient becomes an option to the care giver instead of a priority.  Malpractice is also a matter of concern when it comes to ethical issues within the medical setting. It covers all defects in the professional behavior of doctors and nurses. It comes to play when the standard of care given to a patient is inadequate as a result of negligence and when the professional conduct of the doctor falls below standard.
In conclusion, the whole society has a role to play in order to ensure ethical issues are observed in any medical setting. Citizens should gain more knowledge as far as their rights are concerned to ensure they are protected from negligence and medical malpractice. Medical professionals on the other hand have a big role in observing proper conduct and following the rules and laws governing their profession to avoid harm to patients. They should also be well knowledgeable and skilled to offer genuine and correct treatment to patients by going through acknowledged institutions of learning and passing their exams. The government has a role as well in protecting the rights of its patients and offering regulation to the practice (Coleman (2015)). Licenses should be offered to only skilled people so as to provide accurate and skilled health care among citizens.
Blais, C. M., & White, J. L. (2015). Bioethics in Practice-A Quarterly Column about Medical Ethics: Ebola and Medical Ethics-Ethical Challenges in the Management of Contagious Infectious Diseases. The Ochsner Journal, 15(1), 5-7.
Carrese, J. A., Malek, J., Watson, K., Lehmann, L. S., Green, M. J., McCullough, L. B., … & Doukas, D. J. (2015). The essential role of medical ethics education in achieving professionalism: the Romanell Report. Academic Medicine, 90(6), 744-752.
Coleman, A. M. (2015). Medical Ethics and Medical Professionalism in Low and Middle    Income Countries: Challenges and Implications.
Conly, S. (2014). Against autonomy: justifying coercive paternalism. Journal of medical ethics, 40(5), 349-349.
Gibson, C., Henning, J., Hale, C., Bernthal, L., Jenkins, S., & Draper, H. (2017). Preparing for Operation GRITROCK: Military medical ethics challenges encountered in the planning stages of the UK Ebola response mission. In Ethical Challenges for Military Health Care Personnel (pp. 19-37). Routledge.
Herring, J. (2015). Q&A Medical Law. Routledge.
Jack, C. L., Singh, Y., & Ncama, B. P. (2016). A SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE TO MEDICAL LAW AND ETHICS IN NURSING: GETTING BASIC PRINCIPLES RIGHT. Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery, 17(2), 118-129.
Nelson, H. L. (Ed.). (2014). Stories and their limits: Narrative approaches to bioethics. Routledge.
Ozgonul, L., & Alimoglu, M. K. (2017). Comparison of lecture and team-based learning in medical ethics education. Nursing ethics, 0969733017731916.
Ruger, J. P. (2015). Good medical ethics, justice and provincial globalism. Journal of medical ethics, 41(1), 103-106.
Stirrat, G. M. (2015). Reflections on learning and teaching medical ethics in UK medical schools. Journal of medical ethics, 41(1), 8-11.
Tong, R. P. (2018). Feminist approaches to bioethics: Theoretical reflections and practical applications. Routledge.

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